Summary: A stewardship sermon for believers on giving for living
About heaven, John Newton once said that when we get to heaven there will be three wonders
Who is there?
Who is not there?
The fact that I’m there
There are also many other mysteries about heaven
Have you ever dreamed about it?
Have you ever searched the pages of scripture trying to get an insight into what heaven may or may not be like?
Through St Paul
In that passage that is so frequently read at weddings God informs us there will definitely three thing that last not only on earth
But also in heaven
Listen to that last verse from 1 Corinthians 13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love
As Christians we are not only saved by God’s love
We are not only called to live the way of love
We are called into a community of love that continues well beyond this life
Now put this into the perspective of how we live our lives
How we use all the resources at our disposal
Each of us has money
Some more than others but we all have some money
Each of us has time
Everyone of us has 1440 minutes a day
And each of has talents, skills and abilities
Think about what your are for a moment
And we know that each of these came from God himself
God gave us everything we have
And will continue giving us all that we will have
Sure we may have to work for it
Work even hard for it
But even the opportunity and ability to work hard is a gift from God
But one thing we need to remember is that we are not owners of the resources
We are simply God’s caretakers
In Genesis 2, verse 15 we are told that humans were put on the earth to care for it
We are simply the caring for the resources he has given us to care for
And sometimes we mix this up
Some years ago a family living in a home in West Palm Beach Florida told a film crew it was ok to use the front lawn as a set for the filming of a action movie. They knew cars would be crashing violently in front of the house and skidding across the lawn. During the filming of the film, the neighbours became very concerned and called the owner of the home. The owner was in New York and rang those living in the house and demanded to know what was happening. It seems the people who were living in the house were only the tenants. They had no right to allow the property to be destroyed as the cameras rolled.
And sometimes we do that too
We make decisions about the resources God has given us to use and care for without first listening to him
So what are we meant to be doing with the resources God has given us?
The best place to find out about this is from scripture
And in scripture we get some fairly clear directions about how all,
Not just part of the resources we have should be used
First we are to use everything God has given us for His glory
One of the heresies that float around in some people’s mind is that they only have to use a portion of what God has given them
This does not mean we dump everything on the offering plate each week
What it does mean is that we are to use what he has given us is to glorify God in our families, work, social lives.
In other words next time you are out with friends ask How can I give God the glory as I socialise with my friends?
Or when you are work, ask what opportunities exist for me to glorify God?
There are even opportunities to give God the glory as you visit a hotel
Second we are to be focussed on using what we have for the reason God has given them to us
Let us hear again the words of 1 Peter 4, verse 10
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms
One primary reason for living is to share God’s grace
To share God’s grace to other Christians so they are nurtured and cared for
And to share God’s grace to those who are not Christians so they know and experience God’s grace
When we help others
Ask yourself, how am I connecting them to the great help God can give them?
Something to think about, how are we living our lives and using our resources differently from our friends and family who are not Christians?
The third aspect that scripture asks us to think about is